What Confederate generals would've made good CSA Presidents in a independent CSA


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#6
Notwithstanding the lack of adequate parameters to the question, the first name that comes to mind is R.E. Lee. He had the temperament, ability, and public support to be a good president.
However as I understand it he had little/no interest in politics and health problems so would he be that likely to stand?
 

Carronade

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#7
Discussing generals as president presumes that there was at least enough of a war for generals to come to prominence, but we would still have to consider how long the war was and how it ended. For example, in the unlikely event that the Yankees gave up after Bull Run, the heroes of the day would be Johnston and Beauregard, while men like Lee would remain unknown to the general public.

Confederate victory would probably mean winning some battles or campaigns which historically were lost or indecisive, and the commanders thereof would be likely candidates; Beauregard (or A.S. Johnston) at Shiloh, Lee at Gettysburg, or someone at some battle that never happened in our time line. Or if the Union gave up in 1864 out of exhaustion/frustration, J.E. Johnston or again Lee might get the credit for bringing the Confederacy through the struggle.
 

diane

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#9
There was a greater chance of a general becoming president of the Union after Lincoln was shot - if Sherman and Grant had been more ambitious and less patriotic! Sherman was sitting outside Washington a short time later with a victorious army dead loyal to him thinking about cleaning out the rats' nests in the government.

The Confederacy had slapped together a government of its own and, really, owed what stability it had to the personality of Jefferson Davis. He was a first class control freak. Considering how the AoT and every other general to a lesser or greater degree fought among themselves, it may not have been a good trait for nation-building but it was for just holding the ship together. It was entirely possible that a totally off the wall, random element might have taken charge - like JO Shelby, or Bedford Forrest. Not sure about Shelby's political clout, but Forrest had plenty in his corner.
 

Carronade

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#10
The duration of the war might be important in another way: the presidential election would not be until 1867. If the war had ended four or five years earlier, the men who won it might not be as prominent in peoples' minds.
 

rbasin

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#11
There was a greater chance of a general becoming president of the Union after Lincoln was shot - if Sherman and Grant had been more ambitious and less patriotic! Sherman was sitting outside Washington a short time later with a victorious army dead loyal to him thinking about cleaning out the rats' nests in the government.

The Confederacy had slapped together a government of its own and, really, owed what stability it had to the personality of Jefferson Davis. He was a first class control freak. Considering how the AoT and every other general to a lesser or greater degree fought among themselves, it may not have been a good trait for nation-building but it was for just holding the ship together. It was entirely possible that a totally off the wall, random element might have taken charge - like JO Shelby, or Bedford Forrest. Not sure about Shelby's political clout, but Forrest had plenty in his corner.
But didn't Grant run in the next election? pretty ambitious to me.
 

Carronade

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#12
One of the Confederates' best opportunities to turn the tide of the war was at Chickamauga. Totally destroying Rosecrans' army could start a chain of events that would end with the Union exhaustion cited in the OP, and the great hero of Confederate independence would be - Braxton Bragg!! :wink:
 

diane

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#14
One of the Confederates' best opportunities to turn the tide of the war was at Chickamauga. Totally destroying Rosecrans' army could start a chain of events that would end with the Union exhaustion cited in the OP, and the great hero of Confederate independence would be - Braxton Bragg!! :wink:

Ooooh! That makes my face hurt! :tongue:
 

rbasin

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#16
One of the Confederates' best opportunities to turn the tide of the war was at Chickamauga. Totally destroying Rosecrans' army could start a chain of events that would end with the Union exhaustion cited in the OP, and the great hero of Confederate independence would be - Braxton Bragg!! :wink:
With those corps commanders?
 

BlueandGrayl

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#17
It's more realistic that winning in the 1861-1862 timeframe of the Civil War be it Prince Albert dying and thus the Trent Affair escalates into fullblown war between Britain/Confederacy and America or Order 191 not being discovered at all (say the Confederates never lose it) and the Army of Northern Virginia and Army of Tennessee has reasonably good results in the Maryland Campaign and Kentucky Campaign respectively or my scenario Henry Clay dying in January 1850 from his existing cough/cold, Texas entering New Mexico and the U.S. government firing the first shots of the war and getting the other Southern states like Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas (as mentioned before), Kentucky and Missouri than we can assess Confederate generals becoming presidents

* Robert E. Lee: It's unlikely he would have been interested in politics as made clear by himself.
* Stonewall Jackson: like Lee above.
* P.G.T. Beauregard: OTL's Beauregard became a politician in his home state of Louisiana as well as being an advocate for black Civil Rights (believe it or not). Beauregard would most likely have interest in running for President of the Confederate States (POTCS)
* John C. Breckinridge: The most likely choice besides Beauregard himself Breckinridge was already a well-established politician (Vice President of the United States under James Buchanan) and a general. Breckinridge would make a good successor to Jefferson Davis.
 

Desert Kid

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#18
My timeline, and several others posit it to be John C. Breckinridge as Davis' successor.

Then after that I would say one of Lee's sons, probably Rooney, then maybe James Longstreet and Wade Hampton III a couple decades out.
 
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#19
General Issac Trimble... while a bit brash at times, he possessed both an attention to detail AND big picture understanding. Two qualities the Confederacy would have needed post-war.
 
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#20
The best guide to who might have become president of an independent Confederacy is to look at who the US elected post 1865.
And that was their greatest war hero--Grant--followed by a bunch of politician generals (Hayes, Garfield, Harrison).

Davis's successor would have been Lee (the South's greatest war hero) by acclamation--if Lee would have accepted.
If not, men such as Breckinridge, John Brown Gordon and Hampton come to mind.
The Union army equivalents of Beauregard and Joe Johnston never made much headway getting the GOP nomination postwar.
 



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